ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Natural Products Expo West took place March 7-11 in Anaheim, Calif., where more than 67,000 attendees met to see innovations from more than 3,000 exhibitors. Both sustainability claims and functional ingredients were seen as popular trends this year.

New Hope Network identified five trends that were on display at the convention center, including the intersection of health systems; delivering on climate commitments; radical transparency; sustainability; and personalized subscriptions.

Alter Eco, a company that formulates sustainable ingredients into its products, exhibited at the show and debuted a line extension of its truffle thin chocolate bars. The company also launched its newest products: blackout bars. Featuring 85% cacao, the blackout bars are available in almond and orange varieties.

“When creating some of our newer offerings, we noticed a strong resonance with our flavor combinations among consumers,” said Arnulfo Ventura, chief executive officer. “Eighty-five percent of existing bars are dominated by plain dark chocolate and we knew this was an opportunity to bring more unique flavor combinations to the category. The flavors we are launching at Expo West this year continue to encapsulate our brand's core value of bringing high-quality snacks that restores rather than depletes.”

Planet Based Foods turned to sustainable hemp as the main ingredient in its products. Hemp regenerates the soil and requires less water than traditional crops, which makes it a sustainable option for crop rotation, according to the company. At Expo West, Planet Based Foods showcased its most recent innovation: hemp-based vegan ice cream.

“We're relentlessly driven to innovate with hemp as part of our larger vision to help build a more sustainable and resilient food system,” said Braelyn Davis, chief executive officer and co-founder of Planet Based Foods. “With climate change, soil depletion and water shortages putting significant strain on our agricultural system, the time is now to prioritize hemp as a regenerative, carbon-negative ingredient.”

Companies like Core Foods are choosing to formulate functional ingredients into its bars. The company’s Oat Bars + Adaptogens line features three bars that are formulated with a blend of 200 mg of Reishi mushrooms and 200 mg of lion’s mane mushrooms for stress relief, according to the company.

“At Core Foods, we’re always seeking to deliver innovation that gives the consumer what they’re looking for, so the decision to create adaptogen-powered products was a no-brainer for us,” said Brett Hartmann, chief executive officer at Core Foods.

Click to view new products introduced at Natural Products Expo West.